Larissa Riquelme now just one game away from getting naked on the pitch
Back on 4 July when Paraguayan model Larissa Riquelme vowed to strip on the pitch if her beloved national football team won the Copa America, it seemed likely to be another shameless attempt at self-promotion on the back of a major football tournament (she had made similar declarations at last summer’s World Cup).
Whether the prospect of a nude Larissa standing yards away has unleashed a latent determination within Paraguay’s players is difficult to prove, but what is certain is that they have ground out a series of gritty – often mind-numbingly boring – performances to book their place in the Copa America final.
In fact, forget the determination of Paraguay’s players, it is almost as if the footballing gods (or Sepp Blatter) have decreed that Larissa will be forced to keep her promise. Her home nation have not won a single match in open play in the entire competition.
Three draws in the group stage was enough to see them through to the quarter-finals as one of the best third-place finishers. They have since beaten Brazil and now Venezuela in the knockout stages, both on penalties after 0-0 draws.
So, what started as a throwaway line is now on the verge of reality. Only Uruguay stand between Paraguay and the trophy. Does that mean that preparations are now going on behind the scenes to prepare for the eventuality of Larissa stripping on the pitch?
No doubt several Argentinian stewards have stepped up their training regime over the last day or two to ensure that they are first on the scene should they be required to tackle the pitch invader.